The Urbanist’s Havana: Where to Stay

Photo: Sven Creutzmann

Hotel or Home?
You have two accommodation options: hotels and casas particulares (private homes, apartments, or spare rooms rented by the owners). If a pool and Internet connection are important, go for the hotel. Casas, meanwhile, are closer to the “real” Cuba—though not so close that you’re bathing with a bucket.

Top Hotels

Hotel Nacional de Cuba (from $170; and grand and best visited in early December, when the Havana Film Festival moves in.

Meliá Habana (from $105; The seaside high-rise in upscale Miramar strives for its five stars; an extra $30 a night buys “royal service” with private concierge and a pillow menu, among other perks.

Hotel Santa Isabel (from $110; Overlooking Plaza de Armas, the colonial gem is where Jimmy Carter and Sting stayed when they were in town.

Top Casas

Casa Habana ($25; Calle Habana No. 209; This bustling home in the heart of Habana Vieja has ambience in spades, with art, antiques, and a rooftop terrace for sunset mojitos.

Casa Lilly ($35; Calle G No. 301; The swank apartment in a Vedado skyscraper is run by a hip, multilingual hostess. Take breakfast on the breathtaking wraparound balcony.

Casa de María Elena (from $30; Ave. 17 No. 20106; Renting this three-bedroom luxury home in the tony suburb of Siboney is like staying in “Wilson Pickett’s 1950s mansion,” says guest Tom Williams as he lounges by the pool, beer in hand.

The Urbanist’s Havana: Where to Stay